The Land Transportation Office (LTO) warned motorists to be wary of â€œextortionistsâ€ who set up checkpoints in various roads and immediately ask for a violation fee without issuing a receipt or even showing a document proving they are authorized to collect fines.
The agency released its statement after a motorist reported to DYRD Balita that he was asked to pay P1,500 when stopped by operators of a checkpoint for not having side mirrors mounted on his motorcycle but the apprehending officer did not issue a receipt in exchange for the payment.
The motorist was also not given a temporary operatorâ€™s permit (TOP) which should be issued to violators at the site of the apprehension according to the LTOâ€™s law enforcement and adjudication system.
According to Erwin Patalinghug, LTO-Tagbilaran registrar, none of the authorities are allowed to ask for a violation fee without the issuance of a receipt or TOP which verifies that they are authorized to apprehend violators.
He clarified that only the LTO and the Highway Patrol Group headed by Chief Supt. Saturnino Sedigo are given TOPs.
It is also illegal to settle cases in the streets if the apprehending authorities do not have the proper papers since this is supposedly done at the LTO office.
Patalinghug advised the public not to pay violation fees if the enforcer will not issue a receipt or TOP.
Should operators manning checkpoints insist, motorists should get their names and report the incident to the LTO so officials may take action, he added. (with reports from Allen Doydora)